THE CAMPAIGN to Save Dublin Zoo managed to raise €1 million in just 12 hours, raising hopes the beloved tourist spot will remain open.
Yesterday, staff at Dublin Zoo revealed they were in danger of closing permanently after Covid-19 restrictions led to revenue losses of over €8 million.
As a registered charity, the zoo relies on ticket sales for almost 90% of their overall funding-- but their emergency funds are running out, and the care of their 400 animals, at a cost of over €500,000 a month, continues whether or not there are visitors arriving in the gates.
The Zoo launched an emergency fundraising campaign, appealing to the people of Ireland to "answer our call and donate" to help save the institution, with Operations Manager Gerry Creighton stating "our passion, love and dedication to the animals in our care is as strong as ever".
The appeal drew the support of tens of thousands of people across Ireland and beyond, and in just a few hours more than half a million euro was raised to save the Zoo-- enough to cover the cost of animal care for one month.
Incredibly, last night the Zoo announced they had reached €1 million in donations in just 12 hours.
Taking to Twitter to thank everyone for their donations, a spokesperson admitted "Never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd get here- let alone this soon.
"We have reached a mind blowing €1,000,000 – and it’s all thanks to you!"
❤ Save Dublin Zoo ❤
Orang’ of applause to you all!
Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d get here - let alone this soon!
We have reached a mind blowing €1,000,000 – and it’s all thanks to you!
Even Sibu, the Bornean orangutan can’t believe it! #SaveDublinZoo pic.twitter.com/vcrVVhtNj8
— Dublin Zoo (@DublinZoo) November 18, 2020
They continued: "Your kind messages and generous donations have really overwhelmed the entire team at Dublin Zoo.
"We understand this is a challenging time for everyone - your support means so much to us, now more than ever!
"We can’t thank you enough - please keep sharing!"
The news that Dublin Zoo was in danger of closing had led to Taoiseach Micheál Martin promising that it would "get the help it needs".
Taking to Twitter yesterday where he promised the Zoo would be saved, the Taoiseach described it as "a brilliant facility that is loved by young and old", and said "we can all look forward to being back there when this is over".
If you would like to help the Save Dublin Zoo campaign, you can donate directly or sponsor an animal on the Zoo's website (here).